Cooped up chickens and two have their tailfeathers pecked out

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NewHen, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. NewHen

    NewHen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2010
    Los Angeles
    So my 5 day construction project is on week 3 now. We usually let them free range in the evenign but they've been stuck in the coop and attached run. Now my Ameracauna pullets have their tail feathers pecked off. It looks horrible. When will these grow back in? During the first molt? The Ameracaunas are the same age as the majority of the others, and they're the only ones that look so ragged.
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Feather picking is a nasty habit. The picked birds will get their feathers back if the picking stops, but if they were picked badly enough the feathers may not come back until after a molt. You said they've been locked up in just their house and run- do the birds have enough room? Feather picking can be a stress reaction to crowded conditions, or it can be done out of boredom, or it can be a sign of a protein deficiency. It starts, but then it rapidly becomes a habit that is tough to break. You need to break it ASAP. There are a couple products on the market that work for feather picking. Hot-pick/No-Pick and pine tar are topical applications, and then the Pinless Peepers are a little tool applied to a chicken's face. Alleviating boredom can be done with some chicken toys. Tossing a head of cabbage into your run or better yet hanging a head of cabbage up in the run will lead to hours of amusement for your birds. There are feed blocks available at the feed store which also help. The feed blocks are comprised mostly of seeds so they are a good source of protein.
    Hope this helps. Good luck.
  3. angelhawk

    angelhawk New Egg

    Sep 19, 2010
    Hi my name is Pat and my sister is having the same problem as newhen..She has roadisland reds and buffs it looks as if the buffs are the ones doing the pecking they stripped the rooster clean and now they are starting on one of the road island red hens...she has 10 hens and a wimpy rooster..A 8x8 coop a very big run and they free range all day...if any one has any more advice it would be greatly appreciated..
  4. Kyhen

    Kyhen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    Hart Co., Ky
    Quote:I agree.[​IMG]
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    It sounds like your sister's birds have adequate space, so I would be looking at other sources for their problem. I assume she is feeding her birds layer pellets? She can switch over to a grower formula for a while and offer free choice oyster shells to make up for the lack of calcium. Grower formulas are typically higher in protein, but have no added calcium which hens need for proper egg laying. This should correct any protein deficiencies quickly. If this has no impact on the problem then I would be looking at it as behavioral, and then she will need to look at some of the products I mentioned above.

    Good luck.
  6. Newyorkrita

    Newyorkrita Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 13, 2010
    Quote:I agree.[​IMG]

    How does one use the pinless peepers? I have seen those for sale but I have no idea how to apply them or how they work. Also while on the subject what would be the difference between the pinless and the ones with pins? thanks.

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